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Mueller Discusses Noindexed Pages In Core Web Vitals

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John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst of Google, recently discussed Core Web Vitals – a topic that even the best SEO consultants are curious about. Mueller also told SEO consultants that noindexed pages will now be part of the Core Web Vitals calculations in the latest ranking signal that’s about to come.

The Core Web Vitals are basically user experience metrics. They measure the capability of a webpage to provide its site visitors with excellent user experience. The three main Core Web Vitals are First Input Delay (FID), Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), and Largest Contentful Paint (LCP).

The FID refers to the amount of time before a site visitor can start interacting with the webpage. Next, CLS measures the stability of the elements on a webpage, such as text, videos, images, and buttons while the webpage is loading. Lastly, the LCP determines the loading speed of a webpage.

These three metrics are going to become ranking factors this year, which is why a lot of SEO consultants are concerned about Google’s new score calculation method. New ranking factors mean that there are many other things and situations that can impact rankings.

In an episode of SEO Office Hours, one of the first questions for Mueller was about field data. The person asked if they should pay special attention to field data instead of ranking signals, and Mueller answered yes.

There are two types of data for web vitals scores: lab and field data. Lab data scores are simply estimates of the actual score, generated in simulated environments. Lab data gives webmasters insights on certain issues that could happen with their SEO.

On the other hand, field data scores are based on actual site traffic in real-world conditions. Many SEOs are concerned with how Google calculates this type of data.

When asked whether the new ranking signal will be page level or domain level, Mueller said that they could calculate scores as an average of multiple pages. He said that when it comes to field data, they will have groupings of individual pages since they do not have data points for each page.

Based on the amount of data that they have, it can be a grouping of the domain. However, he ensured that if they do have more data points for each webpage, then they will use it. In his answers, Mueller is making himself clear that calculating web vital scores may not always be on a page by page basis.

SEOs also asked if slow pages that are noindexed can negatively affect their core web vitals scores. Mueller replied, saying that they are not totally sure how things would be if there is a noindexed page because Google will either see it as one domain or as different groupings.

He does say that in the Chrome User Experience Report data, one can determine if Google used data points for noindex webpages, or for any other individual pages for that matter. This allows them to determine that there are multiple pages and then treats them individually.

As for smaller websites, where Google does not have enough signals, then noindex webpages may play a part there. Mueller admits that he’s not completely sure, but when it comes to the Chrome User Experience Report data, they include all pages that site visitors have access to.

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